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(USED) (2008) Santa Cruz Tony Rice Professional, German Spruce, Brazilian Rosewood – $9,250

(USED) Here’s something you don’t encounter every day…

As described by the Santa Cruz Guitar Company: The Tony Rice Professional Model has been further refined (from the standard Tony Rice model) to offer the same specifications as used on Mr. Rice’s personal guitar. Old growth Brazilian Rosewood of the quality seen in the best vintage instruments and European Spruce (usually chosen from stock from the Italian/Swiss border) are the materials of choice. To enhance the playability, a shorter (25.25 inch) scale and Tony’s slim neck profile provide fast and effortless action. The heirloom tone woods and intelligent design make this instrument the quintessential contemporary bluegrass dreadnought.

We’ve sold more than a handful of the “Tony Pro” model over the years, and are very pleased to spend some time with this fine example. “Nine Pound Hammer’ never sounded better….

This particular Tony Pro has a unique pedigree and some very special features. Listen Up: This is one of a handful that was sent to luthier Kenny Hill to have a French Polish finish applied to the European (specifically German) Spruce top, it’s got that big ol’ 4 and 9/16” sound hole so the sound just flows right out of it, and this one is constructed with scalloped Adirondack braces and hot hide glue, as is Mr. Rice’s personal guitar. The MSRP for a guitar like this today IF they could source similar Brazilian Rosewood (they can not) and a French Polish top (not currently offered) would be $14,900.

Here is how we see it: The TR Pro is clearly one of the finest contemporary bluegrass dreadnoughts, built to Tony’s personal specifications with German spruce and Brazilian rosewood. A shorter scale (25.25′) provides a fast and supple action. The 4-9/16 soundhole combined with a hand-tuned top make this instrument, in Tony’s words, “a guitar you can go to war with.” Now we do not hear a “Tony Pro” as being particularly loud, compared with modern Collings, Huss & Dalton and older Martins. When Tony says “go to war” we know he is talking about combat following Marquess of Queensberry Rules, not all out war featuring bazookas and banjos. This is a guitar, that in the right hands, can outsmart or confound an opponent, but will not bury him. That is to say: it will not kill a banjo. Tony is all about finesse, not raw power. But his playing has authority and precision and this guitar is built specifically to communicate those complexities. We like to say: The Art of War, in B Flat. This super clean guitar is a mighty special example with very high grade straight grain Brazilian rosewood, on the back, about 90% straight with some figure on the sides.

The overall condition is excellent. The action is low-medium, the saddle has been lowered but still shows a medium-tall saddle, and the playability is superb. There are some typical French Polish “dings” on the top – from honest play, but the guitar is clean, clean, clean. It is currently equipped with nickel Monel strings, as that seems to be the trend with the Tony Rice crowd, and the personal preference of Mr. Rice.

In the gallery, we’ve included a letter of provenance from Richard Hoover, and a photo of the raw Brazilian planks that were specifically chosen and used for the guitar construction by Dan Roberts. This is a very fine guitar. In a shop FULL of fine guitars, this one does not take a back seat. The sound is positively luxurious.

 

Body Wood Type Brazilian Rosewood
Back Stripe Zipper
Binding Ivoroid
Top Wood Type European Spruce
Rosette Herringbone
Purfling Herringbone
Bracing/Voicing Scalloped
Neck Peghead Solid Square
Peghead Binding I/B/I
Overlay Material Brazilian Rosewood
Headstock Inlay None
Width at Nut 1-11/16
Neck Shape V with Volute
Fingerboard Side Dots Black
Inlay SCGC @ 16th Fret
Width at 14th Fret 2-3/16
Binding I/B/I
Scale Length 25.25
Finish Top Tinted
Back & Sides Clear/Buffed
Neck Clear/Buffed
Setup Pickguard Dalmatian
Tuners/gears Nickel Waverlys

Here is a bit of additional information shared by the consignor:

Dan Roberts confirmed that he supplied the woods for this guitar rather than Santa Cruz. The German spruce top was one that he’d bought from International Violin and then held on to for over 20 years before it was used on this guitar.
 The back and sides are in his words “slab sawn straight-grain Brazilian identical to what was used by Martin in the golden era”.
As said, this is a very fine guitar, worthy of the highest level player.  It includes the nicer (Ameritage) hard shell case.

SN: 5577-RP (label signed by Tony Rice) 

ON CONSIGNMENT, NO TRADE OFFERS PLEASE!

AMW Price: $9,250 

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